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When should hedgehogs be out of hibernation

Home Forums Champions’ chat When should hedgehogs be out of hibernation

Viewing 12 posts - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)
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    Hi, thanks for your good wishes Nic, to answer your question, yes to cats, my neighbour has 4 cats plus about 6 other neighbourhood cats. They spend the night sniffing where the hogs have been then chasing round our property. I’ve an under bed box I’ve made into a feeding station. I put 1 brick opposite the opening to form a corridor. This the cats managed to get round and inside the box. I wondered if they managed to push the brick back a bit then contort themselves around it, so I added another brick behind the first one. It does not stop small young cats, but the big ones don’t bother now. The cats game seems to be, oh, we can small another animal, let’s eat all the food so there’s none left for them.

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    Hi Annker

    Try putting bricks, or obstructions, either side of the entrance. I have noticed the cats here, need to get themselves at an angle to get into the boxes – not so easy of there are bricks in the way. I use 3 litre flower pots full of earth – so quite heavy not so easy for the cats to move. They seem to have given up trying at the moment.


    Hi Nic, thankyou for your advise. I had thought of making another station with a large curved pipe coming out. It’s like a wildlife sanctuary here at the moment. We have loads of birds, a weasel the other week and now bumblebees in a nest box, plus there are a lot of honey bees. I watched the big, shall we say ‘male’ in and out af the box all night, so he’s still around. Many thanks again.


    Hi Nic-
    I need some more advice. Cyclops does not want to move out of her hedgehog house so it has not be cleaned. The last 2 nights she has actually taking more nesting material in……….could she be getting ready for babies?
    Also she came out of hibernation on 18 April and has had a couple of hours here and there where she wanders off but in general is staying very near the feeding station and HH house. I wander if she should be looking for more natural food and should I put less out for her. I don’t know if she is becoming too dependant on our food. The other 2 hedgehogs that have visited didn’t come last night so she has eaten all that was out.

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    Hi Simbo65

    That’s a bit tricky. She could be getting ready for babies (especially if she’s taking more nesting in) although if she hasn’t been out from hibernation that long, it seems unlikely she would be about to produce – gestation about 4½ weeks, although a bit variable. But is there any way she could have been out before, without you knowing? It’s just possible she already has some young ones and that’s why isn’t going far.

    Did you get another house? That would be the best thing to put it next door and hope she moved in. Just a bit worried about her having babies in a nest she hibernated in, which seems likely to have parasites in it, but it has to be her choice. But you could help her make up her mind by providing another house nearby.

    Re. the feeding. It’s difficult to know whether she has become dependant. Does she look as if she’s finding it hard to get around? I wouldn’t have thought missing one eye would be too much problem, they don’t have very good eyesight, anyway and rely a lot on their sense of smell and hearing. (the one here seemed to get around like any other hedgehog – although was the only one around for most of the time.) But maybe if fairly newly out of hibernation she is getting really well re-acquainted with her immediate surroundings before moving further afield.

    I can’t remember what you’re feeding, but any hog food is really only meant to be supplementary, so not ideal for complete diet. For instance, I normally feed ‘I love hedgehogs’ but when I have had non-hibernators, I have given them kitten biscuits as well, during winter, because I thought they were less likely to be getting natural protein (although they did actually forage as well, even in Winter). You wouldn’t want to cut the food down if she is about to produce and if she really did only come out of hibernation so recently, she may not have reached her ideal weight yet.

    How close is your feeding station to the hog house? If it is nearby, I wonder if you could move it gradually a bit away, so that she has a chance to forage on the way there – might give her the idea again. Although I think you said there wasn’t a lot of space. Did she go further afield last year?

    Sorry not being that much help (mostly just thinking ‘out loud’) but it’s a complicated situation and it’s more difficult not knowing all the circumstances fully.

    P.S. I rang up about the hog with the strimmer injury, the other day. Couldn’t talk long because the lady was on the way somewhere, but apparently the hog is doing well – had to leave all my other questions for another day, but I know they will be looking after him/her well.

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    Hi Annker

    It sounds lovely there with all that wildlife. I haven’t seen a weasel for ages! Good luck with the new feeding station. Sometimes it’s a case of trial and error – and how enterprising or otherwise the cats in your area are!


    Hi Nic
    I have looked back at footage. We were aware that she came out of the HH box on 29 March. It looks like she has a drink and turns to go back into the house although I don’t catch her actually walking up the tunnel. There was also a very gorgeous HH that night but first caught about 5 hours later. There were a couple of nights we didn’t put the camera out but as it was cold I didn’t think she would come out.
    We feed ARK (did try yummy wet cat food but she left it) and have made another food station and last night moved it closer to the other one but she showed no interest in it and as it is a smallish area we might have actually hindered her by having it on top of natural foraging.
    We haven’t bought another house because of space but we are going to pick up some bricks later and build something that will fit the space with bricks and patio slabs as a roof. I saw someone do it on line. I just want her to stay in it for 1 night so we can thoroughly clean the one she loves so much. I assume if she stays in the new one she hasn’t got any young in the old one.
    I must admit I am very worried about her having young in there. I can see she has ticks and I don’t think any young would survive if the ticks attached to them which I am sure they would. I think she needs deticking as well so she keeps her strength up.
    It’s a double edged sword. If she doesn’t go in the new set up so we clean up the house I think her and any young will have major issues.
    If we move her into our special box we use for vet visits and keep her in the dark but disturb young we have mucked up too.
    I am surprised she hasn’t moved on. I was hoping it would be a natural instinct. She moves around fine and has gone off for 2 and 3 hours before going back to bed in the past and a couple of times since coming out of hibernation.
    I’m trying to weigh up the pros and cons and not getting very far. I will give her a couple of days to see if the new abode holds any appeal.
    Thanks for all your time and help with this.
    After this season and if she ever leaves, I am tempted to remove the house as maybe it’s better to let them find places to nest naturally without too much human intervention

    It’s a really hard situation.

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    Hi Simbo65

    The purpose built house sounds a good idea. But, it is possible that she would move into it if she did have young ones, to give herself a break from them, or even to see if she thought it suitable to move them into. In the summer, females sometimes have a sleep outside during the day for a break from the young ones.

    At the same time, I can understand your worry about the parasites. It seems unlikely from what you’ve said that she would have young ones already, but just be really careful, in case. Personally, I wouldn’t take her out and put her in another box, even if she doesn’t have young. It could make her just leave completely. Let’s hope she moves into the new purpose made house – that would be the ideal situation.

    I agree, I wouldn’t want to put too many feeding stations down on top of potential foraging areas, but I think the problem about natural nesting places, is that they are few and far between, so that a box for potential nesting in is probably very useful. I have come to the conclusion that the set up I have at the moment for feeding is the ideal one (perspex type stuff balanced on earth filled flower pots, with something to weigh it down on top). It means any foraging area is not being taken up, the hogs still feel as if they are eating out of doors (for those that prefer that) and the cats don’t seem to bother with it, as it’s too low. It keeps the food dry and it can be easily removed for day time.

    Good luck. Send thought messages to Cyclops about how lovely the new hog house is. Fingers crossed she moves in!


    Will keep you posted.
    Any more news on your little one in the hospital?

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    Hi simbo65

    Rang up about the hog in hospital – still doing well. Apparently it’s eyes are open now, but still not sure whether it can see and whether male or female. Takes a while for strimmer injuries to heal, but good news the hog is still o.k.


    Hi Nic,
    Glad to hear he/she is doing OK. Just such a shame that people feel the need to use strimmers. Keeping everything crossed the recovery continues well.
    Our little girl does not want to move. The new house has turned out very well. She has sniffed around it (we put some food into it ) but hasn’t gone in. Another hedgehog has.
    So we now have no plan and will let nature take it’s course. If she doesn’t move out soon we could run the risk of disturbing young ones.
    We are still putting out food but she does look to be foraging naturally again and does go off for a couple of hours during the night.
    We can only do so much.

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    Hi simbo65

    You are so right – all we can do, is do our best. Glad to hear she is going off foraging now.

Viewing 12 posts - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)

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